Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Schauffele beats Finau in playoff to win WGC-HSBC Champions

Schauffele was playing alongside Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton Schauffele was playing alongside Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton
Domingo Copeland | 31 October, 2018, 07:47

Schauffele made birdie on his final three holes Sunday, the last one a two-putt birdie from about 30 feet on the par-5 18th hole to beat Tony Finau in a sudden-death playoff and win the HSBC Champions.

Schauffele began the week in Shanghai by celebrating his 25th birthday.

A second-place finish in a World Golf Championship event in China continued Finau's upward trend in the game, only without the reward of a prestigious victory.

The Englishman, who could have returned to world No 1 with victory in Shanghai, carded a final-round 72 to end the week in third spot and four strokes behind play-off victor Xander Schauffele.

World number one Brooks Koepka shot a 69 on Sunday to finish at two under, second-ranked Dustin Johnson finished at three over, and four-time Major victor Rory McIlroy managed even par only once in Shanghai to finish at 10 over par.

"I really just need to keep on taking it day by day and try to shoot the lowest round I can each day".

"Definitely feel like I let one get away", said Finau.

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Reed holed an 18-footer on his final hole to take a two-shot lead as he signed for a near-perfect opening round in windy conditions at the Sheshan International Golf Club. It led to a double bogey and cut his lead to one shot.

Conners also shot 64 for a 203 total but the later-starting Champ, who shared the halfway lead Friday, was too dominant, delivering birdies on four of his first five holes and adding four more on the back nine.

The Masters champion looked certain to drop another shot on the par-5 18th when his tee shot bounded off the side of a hill and into the water.

But that was child's play compared to this birdie at the par-4 15th.

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka is 2 over after a 71, and Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy slipped to 4 over and 8 over, respectively. "It was possibly an eight-under round with the chances that I had", said the world number three. His score got worse each day, but he'd done enough in the first two days to give himself a great chance at his first non-opposite field event win. "So I knew that I still needed to pull off a shot and hit the green".

Home favourite Hsu Wei-ling bounced back from a first hole bogey Saturday to share the lead with the USA's Nelly Korda going into the final round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship.

But his star has risen, with 11 top-10 finishes in 2018, including at three majors, and his Ryder Cup performance. It led to a closing bogey and a solo third finish at 10 under.

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